Borrowing Increases Dramatically

Andrew Leonard examines the latest consumer borrowing figures for Salon:

"Consumer borrowing, reports Bloomberg, skyrocketed in March, leaping up by $21.4 billion, more than twice as high as the consensus estimate predicted. Much of the increase, according to Bloomberg, can be attributed to new financing for auto purchases and to students hoping to lock in low interest rates on student loans. (Unless Congress takes action, the interest rates on government-backed student loans will double on July 1.)"
Read his full article here

France's "Bank of the Poor" Forgives Debts reports that some lucky customers of France’s oldest bank have had their loans forgiven, in a gesture that marked the Crédit Municipal de Paris’s 375th anniversary (or is that anniversaire?) The bank has a history of looking out for its customers and was in fact founded (in 1637) as a bank that would give “the needy access to fair banking” — something that was certainly not commonplace in the 17th Century.